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Project-Directed Writing Assistance in Construction Management Program

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Conference

2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Rethinking PowerPoint and Other Acts of Communication

Tagged Division

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society

Page Count

16

Page Numbers

22.1193.1 - 22.1193.16

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/18802

Download Count

30

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Paper Authors

biography

Elena Poltavtchenko Northern Arizona University

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Elena Poltavtchenko is a Ph.D. candidate in the Applied Linguistics program at Northern Arizona University. She is a graduate teaching assistant at NAU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Elena obtained her B.A. in Russian Linguistics and Literature in Novosibirsk State University, Russia, and M.A. in English Applied Linguistics at the University of Houston, TX. Her current research interests lie in the area of writing in the disciplines, with a specific focus on writing in engineering.

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biography

John Tingerthal Northern Arizona University

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John joined the Construction Management faculty at Northern Arizona University in 2007. His engineering career spans a wide variety of design and forensic engineering experiences. He spent the first eight years of his career performing structural consulting engineering in Chicago. This work culminated with design work on the Minneapolis Public Library and the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison Wisconsin. He was also involved with forensic investigations in Iowa and Wisconsin and participated in structural coordination efforts at Ground Zero in September of 2001. He holds professional engineering licenses in the States of Arizona an Illinois.

He is currently working on a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Higher Education. His academic interests lie in the field of student-centered learning and teaching. He is a primary instructor in a transdisciplinary course that incorporates engineering, construction, cultural anthropology and emergency medicine in an immersive experiential setting that is aimed to prepare students for international development projects.

John is a member of Engineers without Borders, ASCE, AISC and The Building Smart Alliance and advises the construction management student organization (CMO). He coordinates NAU's teams for the Associated Schools of Construction Regional competition in Reno, NV, and coaches the BIM team.

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Abstract

Project-Directed Writing Assistance in Construction Management ProgramEmployers and teachers have long been concerned about students majoring in various disciplineswhose poor written English prevents them from reaching their full potential in university and intheir professional lives. In engineering and construction management programs in particular, theworkplace success of new graduates is ultimately affected by their oral and written communication skills. However, these students’ academic preparation for industry’s needs in terms of writtencommunication has been widely acknowledged as inadequate. For instance, the consistently lowresults on the communication skills section of the required American Institute of Constructorsexam taken by the students majoring in Construction Management show the urgent need fordiscipline-specific writing instruction. It is, therefore, imperative that such students be offeredhelp with discipline-specific written discourse. Yet the number of writing intensive classes forsuch students and the number of professionals who specialize in developing writing programsand services for these students are rather small.This empirical study fills this gap by investigating how project-directed supplemental writingassistance affects writing quality in a junior-level construction management class. By using bothquantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis, the researchers examined thestudents’ progress in writing two drafts of a proposal and assessed students’ performance on thefollowing commonly problematic areas: Formatting, clarity of data/results presentation, andappropriateness of writing for intended audience. The results of the study suggest thatsupplemental writing assistance has a significant overall positive effect on student writing, and isespecially beneficial in heightening their audience awareness. The results of this study indicatethat more writing opportunities and project-directed instruction in on disciplinary writing shouldbe provided to students to help them become successful in their future careers. 

Poltavtchenko, E., & Tingerthal, J. (2011, June), Project-Directed Writing Assistance in Construction Management Program Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18802

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